What is Fatty Liver?
Fatty liver is also known as NASH, which stands for Non- Alcoholic Steatorrhoeic Hepatosis or Non-Alcoholic-Fatty-Liver-Disease (NAFLD) but don’t be put off by these big terms – they just mean that your liver is being invaded with fat! Fatty liver or NASH, is very common in overweight persons, over the age of 30.
A fatty liver contains an excessive amount of fat and the normal healthy liver tissue is partly replaced with areas of unhealthy fats.
In such a liver, the liver cells and the spaces in the liver are filled with fat so the liver becomes slightly enlarged and heavier. The liver has a yellow greasy appearance. There may be discomfort over the liver, which is situated in the right upper abdominal area. There may be gallstones composed of cholesterol and bile salts. It is often possible to see the excess fat in the liver in an ultrasound scan of the liver. There may also be elevation of the liver enzymes.
Liver dysfunction is very common and an increasing problem.
Much redder in colour and has a uniform texture.
It is slightly enlarged and yellow in color and “shiny” or “greasy” in appearance because it is
congested with fat.
Severe Fatty Liver:
This is a more severe degree of
fatty liver and is more often due to
incorrect diet, alcohol excess or obesity.
If we cut the liver up into tiny slices and magnify it many millions of times you will see that it is full of spaces that are red-pink color because they are full of blood. The rows of liver cells form the walls of the spaces. As the blood flows through these spaces the liver cells remove the toxins, dead cells, micro-organisms and fat from the blood stream. Thus we call the liver the filter and cleanser of the blood stream.
If the liver spaces and liver cells are full of fat, then the liver is not able to filter and cleanse the blood stream efficiently and the blood stream will become overloaded with toxins and fat. It is best to work on reversing this problem, as if left unchecked, poor liver function can lead to further problems such as autoimmune conditions and diabetes type 2.
How do you know if you have a fatty liver?
- You will probably be overweight, especially in the abdominal area
- You will find it very hard to lose weight
- You may have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood
- You may have Syndrome X
- You may have diabetes type 2
- You will be very tired
- You may have problems with your immune system
The consequences of a fatty liver
The healthy liver regulates fat metabolism and is the major fat-burning organ in the body. Indeed the healthy liver not only burns fat, it can pump excessive fat out of your body through the bile into the gut.
Thus, if your liver is healthy you will not have much difficulty in controlling your weight.
Conversely a liver which is fatty is doing the opposite of what it should be doing. A fatty liver is storing fat when it should be burning fat and removing excess fat from your body. Indeed a fatty liver becomes a warehouse for fat and if it is allowed to progress for many years, the liver may finally become just a “bag of fat” with dire consequences for your health and longevity.
How common is fatty liver?
In Australia, fatty liver is estimated to affect nearly 1 in 3 people.
It can affect people of all ages, including adolescents and children.
Fatty liver is found in 2.6% of children, and this increases to a whopping 52.8% in obese children. The fact that fatty liver is common in adolescents and children is of urgent importance, and if this is not remedied, these children will face a future where liver disease and diabetes and its complications, are highly likely at a relatively young age.
Can you reverse a fatty liver?
Conventional or orthodox medicine has no specific therapy or drug treatment to reverse a fatty liver. Indeed many drugs such as cholesterol lowering drugs can exert toxic effects on the liver cells.
In reality there is much that can be done to reverse the condition of fatty liver.
A fatty liver can be reversed but this can take some time – years in some cases.
You may have a build-up of fat-soluble toxins (such as insecticides and pesticides), drug metabolites or waste products of metabolism in your fatty tissues and liver. This slows down the metabolism of the fatty parts of your body & also over-burdens your liver. This means that the liver burns fat less efficiently.
Gentle and regular detoxification is very helpful when trying to lose weight. Drinking plenty of water, raw vegetable juices and liver tonics will help the detoxification process.